Top causes of Age-Related Vision Loss… Have you noticed any changes in your eyesight in the last few years?
The older we get, the more important it is for us to be on the watch for symptoms of age-related vision loss. As your partners in life-long healthy vision, we want to make sure you’re prepared.
Common Types Of Age-Related Vision Loss
Most of us will eventually need glasses to read, even if we’ve had perfect vision our whole lives. This is called presbyopia or farsightedness caused by loss of elasticity of the lens of the eye, occurring typically in middle and old age. Hyperopia is a common vision condition in which you can see distant objects clearly, but objects nearby may be blurry.
Myopia or nearsightedness caused by loss of flexibility in our eyes’ lenses. If you find yourself struggling more and more to read small print, or if you have to hold your book farther and farther from your face to read it, it’s probably time for an eye exam and get a new pair of reading glasses.
Eye conditions that can affect us as we age
More serious eye conditions that can affect us as we age are:
- Glaucoma: Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve, the health of which is vital for good vision. This damage is often caused by an abnormally high pressure in your eye. Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness for people over the age of 60.
- Retinal Detachment: A detached retina is when the retina lifts away from the back of the eye. The retina does not work when it is detached, making vision blurry. A detached retina is a serious problem and needs to be treated immediately.
- Diabetic Retinopathy: Diabetic retinopathy (die-uh-BET-ik ret-ih-NOP-uh-thee) is a diabetes complication that affects eyes. It’s caused by damage to the blood vessels of the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye (retina).
- Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD): There are 2 type of AMD… Dry and Wet. Dry macular degeneration is a common eye disorder among people over 50. It causes blurred or reduced central vision, due to thinning of the macula (MAK-u-luh). The macula is the part of the retina responsible for clear vision in your direct line of sight. Wet macular degeneration is a chronic eye disorder that causes blurred vision or a blind spot in your visual field. It’s generally caused by abnormal blood vessels that leak fluid or blood into the macula (MAK-u-luh). The macula is in the part of the retina responsible for central vision.
- Cataracts: A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens of your eye. For people who have cataracts, seeing through cloudy lenses is a bit like looking through a frosty or fogged-up window.
While all of these can cause vision loss, the good news is that most of them can be treated, delayed, or even reversed — particularly through early detection, which can be achieved through regular eye exams.
Live An Eye-Healthy Lifestyle
As important as early detection is to preserving healthy vision, there are also many things you can do in your everyday life to keep your eyesight healthy.
- Stay active. Getting plenty of exercise is great for your whole body, including your eyes! Studies show that those who live sedentary lifestyles are more prone to age-related vision loss than active people.
- Eat healthy. The foods you eat can reduce your risk for eye problems like age-related macular degeneration. A diet rich in bell peppers, carrots, dark leafy greens, sweet potatoes, salmon, blueberries, chia seeds, and turkey will give your eyes important nutrients for healthy vision.
- UV protection. Whether direct or indirect, the sun’s rays are harmful to our eyes, and the damage can be cumulative over the course of our lives. Make sure to wear sunglasses with 100 percent protection from UV-A and UV-B rays to keep your eyes safe!
- Don’t smoke. Where eating healthy and staying active are great for our eyes and our overall health, smoking is harmful to every part of the body. A smoking habit greatly increases the risk of developing eye diseases like age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, dry eye, and diabetic retinopathy.
- Cut down on screen time. When we spend hours and hours glued to our screens, it can be very hard on our eyes. A simple way to reduce or prevent symptoms of digital eye strain is to follow the 20-20-20 rule. Spend a minimum of twenty seconds looking at something at least twenty feet away once every twenty minutes to give your eyes a break!
- Remember your eye exams. Again, regular eye exams are crucial to catching eye problems before they become serious, so make sure you’re getting those appointments in!
We’re Looking Out For Your Eyes
We can’t overstate the importance of regular eye exams for your healthy vision. Whether it’s been a while since your last appointment or you’ve started noticing any changes to your vision, your local Vision Source® member optometrist would love to see you so that they can make sure that your vision is in good shape.
We can’t wait to see you again!
Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.